Jerusalem Pride knife attacker found guilty of murdering 16-year-old girl
A man who went on a knife-wielding stabbing rampage at Jerusalem Pride has been charged with murder.
16-year-old Shira Banki was killed and five others were wounded, after an ultra-Orthadox Jewish man Yishai Schlissel went on a stabbing spree during Jerusalem’s Pride parade last year.
It later emerged he had been released from prison just three weeks before the attack, after serving a sentence for attacking the same parade in 2005, that Schlissel had made public threats to attack the Parade, and that police were aware of the threat.
Schlissel was today convicted of murder and six counts of attempted murder.
Legal proceedings have been complicated as Schlissel continues to refuse counsel, and says he does not accept the legitimacy of the court.
At one point in the hearing he shouted: “The pride parade must be stopped in order for the soul of Shira Banki to ascend to heaven.
“If you care for her well being … you must stop cursing against God. The parade marchers are bringing great harm upon the nation of Israel.”
Tom Canning of LGBT center Jerusalem Open House said: “Nothing can heal the immense pain we still feel following this vicious attack and death of a innocent girl Shira Banki.
“Our community still carry’s the trauma and fear of violence from the events of that day. I hope that Schlissel will receive the maximum penalty, which will perhaps contribute to our healing process.
“We are reminded during time of the importance of continued education and advocacy to create a city where all people feel welcome and safe, including LGBT people.
“We are already preparing for Jerusalem Pride March on July 21st, 2016, and proudly continue to promote tolerance and unconditional love in Israel.”